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If monsoons are on your mind, there is no better way to chase the rains than by nibbling on new offerings from kitchen talents across the city.
Most restaurants of the Capital are laying out a treasure trove of goodies this season that promise to be both edgy and moreish.
The newly launched menu of the restaurant is a nod to Corporate Chef Ravi Saxena’s meanderings in the by-lanes of Punjab. Despite being influenced by platters of a single state, the new menu is stunningly diverse and features dishes with local inflections such as Tawa Chicken Chaamp and Lawrence Road Ki Tikki. The restaurant is also undergoing a culinary renaissance for vegetarians. It is making a bold statement with its ingenious vegetarian offerings which include the tandoori Bhuni Sabzi, where vegetables are marinated with yoghurt and a smidgen of ajwain, before being shoved into a tandoor. The vegetarian menu also has an antidote for the monsoon blues with the perky Tandoori Annannaas, a sweet and sour jumble of marinated pineapple chunks that have served time in the tandoor. Despite lavishing attention on vegetarians, the menu invites carnivores with its multi-component platters too. There is Bharwan Omelette where egg omelettes are stuffed to the gills with Chilli Chicken and served on a bed of garlic naan. Macchi Di Tikki is another deity at this non-vegetarian shrine that combines minced fish with onion, green chilli, coriander and spices before getting sizzled on a tawa.
The new monsoon menu (available through the months of July and August) at Mister Chai, the tea restaurant at Shangri-La’s - Eros Hotel, is an oasis of Indian nibbles. You are never too far away from fritters in this cosy space as everything from keema and Spicy Potato Pakoda to Paneer Pakoda with plum chutney are up for grabs here. Other monsoon staples such as Bhutta, Akuri Toast, Ram Ladoo, Mirchi (stuffed chillies), as well as Kulcha and Pakora Bhaji have also found their moment in the sun. The Indian snack platter can be washed down with the restaurant’s signature cutting chai that’s served in a traditional Chai Ke Tapri.
The conversation is steered towards desserts this monsoon at La Baguette which is hosting the festival Old World Charm from July 15 till July 31. La Baguette has rolled out a new dessert menu that’s both nostalgic and toothsome. The menu plays up classic confections, including Cream Horn, Chocolate Rocher, Key Lime Pie and Cinnamon Apple Strudel, in an effort to perk up your rain-drenched evenings.
When there are thunderclouds milling in the horizon, tea amplifies the turbulent mood. Taking a cue from the season, Olive Qutub has come up with Tea for Two, a monsoon special English high tea party. On offer is a selection of floral and herbal teas with lacto fermented syrups. Giving them company are a variety of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian savoury tea snacks, mignardise or bite-sized desserts, sides of crème chiboust (a specialised pastry cream) and fresh berry marmalade.
Keeping with the time-honoured traditions of monsoon, the restaurant is celebrating #ChaiPakodaDay on July 30, in its Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Bangalore outlets. There’s a sweet deal to mark the occasion. SodaBottleOpenerWala will be offering complimentary kanda bhajji or vada pav all day-long, with every order of your favourite chai from the menu.
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.